Marijuana Is More Mainstream Than Ever, So Why Is Legalization Still Taboo?

As voters in several states head to the polls today to decide Governor and city council races it seems appropriate to ask: “Why are most politicians still inexplicably silent on marijuana law reform?”
The recent legislative hearings on cannabis regulation in Massachusetts and California notwithstanding, the fact remains that these debates are the exception, not the rule. In fact, voters in Maine and Colorado will decide on marijuana law reform ballot proposals today (Note: Check back here tonight for the results.) precisely because their elected officials outright refused to vote on the issues when they were put before them.
In short, prominent politicians continue to run away from sensible marijuana law reforms at the same time that the public is demanding them. Two longtime NORML allies, former High Times editor Steve Wishnia and former NORML Board Member Richard Evans, recently explored this phenomenon and offer some insight and possible explanations:

Pot Is More Mainstream Than Ever, So Why Is Legalization Still Taboo?
Almost every voter under 65 in this country has either smoked cannabis or grew up with people who did. Among its erstwhile users are the last three presidents, one Supreme Court justice and the mayor of the nation’s largest city. The pot leaf’s image pervades popular culture, from Bob Marley T-shirts to billboards for Showtime’s Weeds.
So why is actually legalizing it still considered a fringe issue? Why haven’t more politicians — especially the ones who inhaled — come out and said, “Prohibition is absurd and criminal. Let’s treat cannabis like alcohol”?
One reason for the lack of urgent political pressure, says Deborah Small of Break the Chains, is that the people most likely to get busted for pot are the ones who “don’t have a political voice” — young people of color from poor neighborhoods.
… Washington State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles says that many legislators, particularly in the state’s more conservative rural areas, “buy into the cultural stereotypes about marijuana,” such as the idea that it’s a gateway to harder drugs. The Seattle Democrat, who is sponsoring a bill to reduce the penalty for less than 40 grams of pot from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction, says … that law enforcement has largely opposed her decriminalization bill.

Writing locally in the Massachusetts Daily News Tribune, Evans questions why none of the state’s major party candidates have reached out to the 65 percent of state voters who elected last year to decriminalize marijuana possession statewide.

The Senate race and marijuana prohibition
via The Daily News Tribune
Odd, isn’t it, that all the U.S. Senate candidates, and the people who ask them questions trying to elicit their positions on issues people care about, seem to have forgotten that in the last election, a whopping 65 percent of the voters went for marijuana decriminalization?
If that many voters care about the marijuana laws, why do these candidates, who claim to have their fingers on the public pulse, ignore the subject?
Politicians report little “noise” on this issue, mistaking silence for indifference, not fear. People are justifiably fearful about writing a letter, showing up on a mailing list, even sending an email with the “m” word in it. They have to be very careful about their jobs, their drivers licenses and the kids in school whose parents will talk. But put them in the privacy of a voting booth, and stand back!
… No living person is responsible for the marijuana prohibition laws. They were conceived three generations ago in a cultural and racial climate far different from our own, and very different from that to which we aspire.
Are we ready for a serious, sober discussion about repeal, without the usual winks, smirks and puns? Can we handle it? Will someone lead it?

And finally, speaking of “serious discussions,” it doesn’t get much more serious — and mainstream — than the persuasive and well-articulated arguments from longtime NORML-ally Jessica Corry, who has an amazing ability to tongue-tie both probitionists and Fox News hosts within three minutes! I’m just glad that she’s on our side.

0 thoughts

  1. “I’m just glad that she’s on our side.”
    for sure.
    conservative + sensible drug poilicy = win.
    Minorities + young people is what the conservatives lack.. this should be a conservative issue.

  2. wtf… Shes making cannabis sound like it makes you as stupid and violent as cannabis. If you noticed they try to achieve that connection between cannabis and Heroin by using lines like “Mind altering” and using it over and over and Emphasizing it so much.

  3. I dont think anyone has a problem with someone inebriating themsleves to any degree in their own home….HOWEVER the BIG DIFFERENCE between Cannibus & “Hard Drugs” (I.e. heroin, cocain, alchohol…) is TOXCICITY.
    No matter how hard you try you will not get a LETHAL OVERDOSE on Cannibus, even if you eat a Quarter Pound or more (stomache ache probably). ALL these other drugs can easily lead to higher chance for overdose if chronic use begins just due to body tolerance. Too much Cannibus has only one real effect… drowsiness.

  4. Stop voting idiots that support prohibition in.
    Vote Libertarian or a candidate that openly supports lessening marijuana penalties.

  5. 11.5 millon mmmm…take that times how ever much they wanna charge for an ounce in taxes …… its kindergarden shit ,an common sense

  6. The whole notion of being impaired by marijuana while driving as a risk to society is pretty much false, granted reaction time may be delayed the user of Marijuana realizes this and adjusts driving accordingly, this subject has been studied by many countries on the north American continent and European continent and all have come out with failure results, that the user of Marijuana is a far safer driver then a drunk driver, drivers on cell phones and especially sleep deprived drivers. So to use the argument that someone will toke up then get in a car and drive is faulty used to continue the prohibition on marijuana. No doubt even if hypothetically Marijuana were to become legal in a specific state or federally there should still be laws against driving while high. Driving is alone a large enough distraction, the argument to keep prohibition valid by virtue of random high drivers is invalid. Proven by science and factual tests it’s no larger danger then going to change the radio station. It’s a fact of life, called probability deaths will occur for a certain number of reasons due to driving. What happens when we get to the point where we no longer control vehicles and computers control traffic flow and personal cars then an accident occurs will we then outlaw, prohibit and jail the creators of the algorithms who designed such a system? Any argument a prohibitionist has to debate, an anti-prohibitionist has a strong, more factual argument to rebuttal with. The end times are here for ignorance, confusion and plain lies.

  7. Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)
    If all of you want freedom to chose, dont vote for someone that wants big government. Also , dont let these politicians convince you to trade your freedoms and rights. Dont trade legalization in trade for a bill they want passed that deceases freedom.
    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)

  8. The common sense of Jessica Corry rings very true. Another outstanding advocate for reform. Thanks Jessica. Keep up that wonderful attitude. The world will be a better place because of her and people like her.

  9. She sounds like a Ron Paul type of conservative. Ron Paul openly and emphatically supports marijuana legalization. So vote for him when you see him on a ballot people.
    I’m sure that would send a message to congress.

  10. if conservatives were smart they’d see that most of america will want pot to be legalized by the end of obama’s term. if conservatives take the legalization side, people will jump to a republican president so we can finally be heard.

  11. Why is it still taboo? Because too many of us think marijuana activism is a specatator sport. Example: my brother. LOVES pot, reads norml, smokes responsibly wants its legal and complains its not legal but hasnt written one letter or email in his life. So if everyone wrote letters and sent emails by the truckload things would be better. We must shout our demands so loud that it drowns out the prohibs WEAK and sickly little liar voices.

  12. Why is that if I smoke weed I’m automatically behind the wheel of a car?
    It is very ignorant to assume that.
    Jessica Corry=MILF!!!!!!!!!

  13. Ignorance is what is holding back the legalization of Marijuana. Too many people have a negative impression on it, and most of which is based off of complete bullshit, such as those Above the Influence commercials. Good thing is, we are seeing less and less of such, now that organizations such as norml are spreading good word on pot. Teaching people the truth about Marijuana is probably the key to legalizing pot.

  14. Well done Jessica! The funny thing is, she represents what being a Republican USED to mean in this country. Limited government involvement. Keeping budgets balanced. Preserving personal freedoms. 27% of Americans think Congress is failing miserably; -can we please also agree to look to candidates outside of the loop of influence and corruption and take this country back? Our interests are not being served in this country as a whole and our individual freedoms are being dissected daily.

  15. Vicodin. Demerol. Percodan. Darvocet. Oxycontin. Morphine. Percocet. Percodan. Methadone. Codeine. Tramadol. Ultram.
    Just a handful of ‘painkillers’ synthesized from OPIUM that are legally prescribable that can kill you or at least cause serious addiction.
    I do not know it to be true, but I have been told that any ‘prescription’ drug that ends in the suffix ‘caine’ that induces anesthesia is ‘cocaine-derived’
    Q: Why is it legal for the government and big business to profit from dealing drugs made from the same drugs they demonize?
    A: Because it is profitable for the good ol’ white boy club.
    Q: Why do people sit back and allow this bullshit to happen?
    I don’t have an answer for that.

  16. Are we ready for a serious, sober discussion about repeal, without the usual winks, smirks and puns? Can we handle it? Will someone lead it? exactly PLEASSEE are we in the 3rd grade? its an adult issue treat it as such

  17. If it was a conservative issue prohibition would be non existant. I think more conservatives want it leaglized these days but it has always been an issue for the people never conservatives. Very ignorant of her to say it’s a conservative issue

  18. The taxes for the MA measure seem excessively high. $250 for an ounce of dro? That’s WAYYY too much. In a legalized world an ounce should not exceed $100 with taxes, so 50 for the pot, 50 for the taxes. This would undercut the criminal market by more than half.
    One thing I am concerned about is when a state legalizes cannabis, then that state would basically become a breeding ground for supplying cannabis to other states, enriching cartels who use the decrim law to grow the plant legally in a state but then smuggle it to another state. Other states would be forced to legalize, or other states could pressure Cali, or MA to make it illegal again. Anyone have any thoughts on this.

  19. Good one, she’s sharp. The old school way of addressing Prohibition is losing ground.
    As we get closer to sane g’ment policies then the scared and quiet supporters can finish pushing the snowball up and over the hill.

  20. Anyone else notice that, after having their asses handed to them on a silver platter, the only thing members of the MSM can say to the people they talk to about the issue of legalization is “fascinating debate” or “interesting debate”?

  21. I think when we look at legalization for California or Mass, we could definitely see how the borders between states would be a very hard to control for people taking legally grown product to other states. Fact is I think between the revenue, and just like what happened when the alcohol prohibition ended, we’ll see a positive push towards legalization. Personally I think after legalization, people will finally see their freedom that was taken away. We’re all going to look back, and say, “wow, that was a weird time, can’t believe pot was illegal.” It’s time for everyone to voice out and make this happen, start by just telling a few people and you’ll be amazed of how many people share the same view points and just didn’t know what they could do to help.

  22. Yeah i think your right. but its a good thing, cali will flood all of our surrounding states with herb and the approval and legalization will keep climbing.
    Its a good time to be alive huh

  23. Another thing I would like to see in these debates is industrial hemp and its uses. I think it would be something else to help fuel our fire.

  24. So impressed with her. I wonder… I was skeptical of the tide shift on Fox before, and I am happy to report that I was completely wrong. This is really happening. Wild.

  25. To #23: first of all, you’re absolutely right about the high taxes; I think that’s one of the main sticking points in current proposed legislation for most legalization advocates. I’ve never understood why people assume tax rates based on the current market prices. The only way legalization can undercut the black market is by supplying a market where prices are so low cartels can’t compete.
    In regards to your second concern, part of any proposed legalization initiative should be a provision that anybody applying for a license to produce commercially salable amounts of cannabis should be subjected to a background check solely to determine potential gang/illegal distribution network affiliations. These background checks should not disqualify people who have been convicted of possession, use, or cultivation charges, nor even all people who have been convicted of dealing; they should be targeted at those with known gang/cartel affiliations. I’d even be willing to cut an exemption for people who can prove they’ve left that life behind. Any legal grower caught distributing to illegal networks should have their license immediately revoked, as well as face severe criminal penalties. In short, the first states to legalize it will have to limit the market to their own state and enforce strict bans on exportation.

  26. Alright, Sportsfans! This is it! You want to know how to make the argument? There it is. If this issue can be turned into a battle cry for Repubs, Libers, and all individual rights advocates… we all win. Traditionally the right has been the obstacle, but when you frame the argument using their own supposed political ideologies and force them into a tired debate based on science-fiction, you pretty much neuter them. Go Jessica Go!

  27. It would make a huge amount of sense for the Republicans (especially right now) to take on the reform of marijuana prohibition. it is a fiscal issue. it is a personal rights issue. The only thing holding republicans back is the moral issue as dictated by the religious right. This amazing voter turnout in Breckenridge is exactly what this country needs. hopefully more cities across this country will do the same and then their state legislators will follow suit. There is a sweeping change coming to America, and the Democrats (even with all their ability and promises to do so) are not going to get this job done.

  28. I for ONE(…of many,I’m sure) am SICK and TIRED of working for LESS than honest foood servive/retail corp’s that treat their workers like slaves and overcharge their customers for cheap-ass foriegn-made goods. I want Cannabis AND Hemp legalized. So maybe!!! ONE DAY…I can wake up and go to a job everyday that I love, believe in, and don’t have to lie to my employer about who I am…….wouldn’t that be nice.?

  29. There are so many commercials and movies now that target ‘stoners’ as a marketable stereotype.
    Why isn’t anyone talking about North Carolina’s proposed medical marijuana bill? According to the General Assembly’s copy of the act there was suppose to be a section on yesterday’s poll for whether or not citizen’s would want medical marijuana; sadly it was not there.

  30. Mind altering comparison … balderdash. Kind of like the stupor of someone coming off of a good run? Or from a concert? Or from seeing a beautiful sunset? Or coming out of a religious service???
    How quickly people forget that not all mind altering experiences are outlawed. Those who wish to enslave would rather you never experienced life’s granduer.
    The fact Fox is keeping this in play shows that it is a silent but pertinent aspect of the political landscape. And one that is not going away quietly like in decades past.
    Thanks for that clip norml. I never tune into Fox.

  31. Get this woman on television as often as possible. Sex sells! And as any TV journalist knows, what someone being interviewed says has little to do with the segment’s impact. It is almost exclusively a function of what they look like, and how they say it. She could sell me a used car in a New York minute.

  32. Not only is marijuana nontoxic and impossible to overdose on, correct me if I”m the only pothead who’s experienced this, but smoke too much and you smoke yourselfr straight!! Add to that, there are no clinically significant withdrawal symptoms (take my coffee away and I’ll show you irritable!) and can someone please tell me exactly how much or how recently must one have smoked to be too impaired to drive?!?!?!? Cause I can’t tell. while I don’t make a point of hopping in my car after I’ve smoked, there has never been a time when I’ve felt too impaired to drive from smoking marijuana, while a single beer will more often than not give me pause. Objectively, I haven’t been so much as stopped by a cop in 5 years and if there were some impairment going on you’d think that I’d have been pulled over some time or other.
    And yes, let’s let go of the phrase, “mind-altering!” Exercise is mind-altering, chamomile tea is mind-altering, what I decide to eat is mind-altering. You want mind-altering? Try Zoloft or Paxil, both of which can be lethal and both of which have serious side effects and withdrawal symptoms. I popped a Zoloft once(as prescribed) and I ended up flushing the rest down the toilet, it was like the down side of LSD without the fun side.
    And I invite any medical professional to evaluate me on my ability to make good judgments while stoned. I smoked my way through grad school without being as much as a day late on a single assignment and ending up with my best GPA ever. SHOW me the impairment!
    So I’ll take my weed over alcohol or prescription drugs any day.

  33. #23 Ben – He has a good point about problems between States, Legal & Illegal from State to State, That is why I keep advocating pressure on Washington to Repeal the old Laws and leave it up to the States, Most all States would rather treat it like Alcohol and tax it if they had no worries from Washington, Hell , Kentucky would make out like Bandits on Industrial Hemp again, They would be ahead of the game,Some of the old processing equipment is still there to modernize from.
    It is reaching the point and time where they are going to have to move it down to a schedule II or even III and let the States Decide if they want to allow Recreational Use or not. And for God`s Sake clear Hemp from Drug classification,That was just STUPID in the first place!!!!

  34. The big question,”Why is Marijuana still illegal?” It all begins in 1933 with Harry J. Anslinger.
    Harry J. Anslinger given control of the new Federal Bureau of Narcotics (he remains in the position until 1962)
    Marijuana Tax Act
    Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings; that it was to protect the citizens from what was determined to be a dangerous drug.
    The actual story shows a much different picture. Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information supplied by those who had a specific agenda to deceive lawmakers. You’ll see below that the very first federal vote to prohibit marijuana was based entirely on a documented lie on the floor of the Senate.
    You’ll also see that the history of marijuana’s criminalization is filled with:
    Protection of Corporate Profits
    Yellow Journalism
    Ignorant, Incompetent, and/or Corrupt Legislators
    Personal Career Advancement and Greed
    These are the actual reasons marijuana is illegal.
    For most of human history, marijuana has been completely legal. It’s not a recently discovered plant, nor is it a long-standing law. Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it’s been in use. Its known uses go back further than 7,000 B.C. and it was legal as recently as when Ronald Reagan was a boy.
    The marijuana (hemp) plant, of course, has an incredible number of uses. The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, and over the centuries the plant was used for food, incense, cloth, rope, and much more. This adds to some of the confusion over its introduction in the United States, as the plant was well known from the early 1600’s, but did not reach public awareness as a recreational drug until the early 1900’s.
    America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. It was a law “ordering” all farmers to grow Indian hempseed. There were several other “must grow” laws over the next 200 years (you could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767), and during most of that time, hemp was legal tender (you could even pay your taxes with hemp — try that today!) Hemp was such a critical crop for a number of purposes (including essential war requirements – rope, etc.) that the government went out of its way to encourage growth.
    The United States Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations” (minimum 2,000-acre farm) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and even the cordage used for baling cotton.
    The Mexican Connection
    In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. The revolution in Mexico in 1910 spilled over the border, with General Pershing’s army clashing with bandit Pancho Villa. Later in that decade, bad feelings developed between the small farmer and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the depression came and increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce.
    One of the “differences” seized upon during this time was the fact that many Mexicans smoked marijuana and had brought the plant with them, and it was through this that California apparently passed the first state marijuana law, outlawing “preparations of hemp, or loco weed.”
    However, one of the first state laws outlawing marijuana may have been influenced, not just by Mexicans using the drug, but, oddly enough, because of Mormons using it. Mormons who traveled to Mexico in 1910 came back to Salt Lake City with marijuana. The church’s reaction to this may have contributed to the state’s marijuana law. (Note: the source for this speculation is from articles by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law at USC Law School in a paper for the Virginia Law Review, and a speech to the California Judges Association (sourced below). Mormon blogger Ardis Parshall disputes this.)
    Other states quickly followed suit with marijuana prohibition laws, including Wyoming (1915), Texas (1919), Iowa (1923), Nevada (1923), Oregon (1923), Washington (1923), Arkansas (1923), and Nebraska (1927). These laws tended to be specifically targeted against the Mexican-American population.
    When Montana outlawed marijuana in 1927, the Butte Montana Standard reported a legislator’s comment: “When some beet field peon takes a few traces of this stuff… he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico, so he starts out to execute all his political enemies.” In Texas, a senator said on the floor of the Senate: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy.”
    Jazz and Assassins
    In the eastern states, the “problem” was attributed to a combination of Latin Americans and black jazz musicians. Marijuana and jazz traveled from New Orleans to Chicago, and then to Harlem, where marijuana became an indispensable part of the music scene, even entering the language of the black hits of the time (Louis Armstrong’s “Muggles”, Cab Calloway’s “That Funny Reefer Man”, Fats Waller’s “Viper’s Drag”).
    Again, racism was part of the charge against marijuana, as newspapers in 1934 editorialized: “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”
    Two other fear-tactic rumors started to spread: one, that Mexicans, Blacks and other foreigners were snaring white children with marijuana; and two, the story of the “assassins.” Early stories of Marco Polo had told of “hasheesh-eaters” or hashashin, from which derived the term “assassin.” In the original stories, these professional killers were given large doses of hashish and brought to the ruler’s garden (to give them a glimpse of the paradise that awaited them upon successful completion of their mission). Then, after the effects of the drug disappeared, the assassin would fulfill his ruler’s wishes with cool, calculating loyalty.
    By the 1930s, the story had changed. Dr. A. E. Fossier wrote in the 1931 New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal: “Under the influence of hashish those fanatics would madly rush at their enemies, and ruthlessly massacre every one within their grasp.” Within a very short time, marijuana started being linked to violent behavior.
    Alcohol Prohibition and Federal Approaches to Drug Prohibition
    During this time, the United States was also dealing with alcohol prohibition, which lasted from 1919 to 1933. Alcohol prohibition was extremely visible and debated at all levels, while drug laws were passed without the general public’s knowledge. National alcohol prohibition happened through the mechanism of an amendment to the constitution.
    Earlier (1914), the Harrison Act was passed, which provided federal tax penalties for opiates and cocaine.
    The federal approach is important. It was considered at the time that the federal government did not have the constitutional power to outlaw alcohol or drugs. It is because of this that alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment.
    At that time in our country’s history, the judiciary regularly placed the tenth amendment in the path of congressional regulation of “local” affairs, and direct regulation of medical practice was considered beyond congressional power under the commerce clause (since then, both provisions have been weakened so far as to have almost no meaning).
    Since drugs could not be outlawed at the federal level, the decision was made to use federal taxes as a way around the restriction. In the Harrison Act, legal uses of opiates and cocaine were taxed (supposedly as a revenue need by the federal government, which is the only way it would hold up in the courts), and those who didn’t follow the law found themselves in trouble with the treasury department.
    In 1930, a new division in the Treasury Department was established — the Federal Bureau of Narcotics — and Harry J. Anslinger was named director. This, if anything, marked the beginning of the all-out war against marijuana.
    Harry J. Anslinger
    Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity — a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn’t be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level.
    Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. He also promoted and frequently read from “Gore Files” — wild reefer-madness-style exploitation tales of ax murderers on marijuana and sex and… Negroes. Here are some quotes that have been widely attributed to Anslinger and his Gore Files:
    “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”
    “…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”
    “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”
    “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
    “Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”
    “You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”
    “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
    And he loved to pull out his own version of the “assassin” definition:
    “In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason: the members were confirmed users of hashish, or marihuana, and it is from the Arabs’ ‘hashashin’ that we have the English word ‘assassin.’”
    Yellow Journalism
    Harry Anslinger got some additional help from William Randolf Hearst, owner of a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had lots of reasons to help. First, he hated Mexicans. Second, he had invested heavily in the timber industry to support his newspaper chain and didn’t want to see the development of hemp paper in competition. Third, he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, so he hated Mexicans. Fourth, telling lurid lies about Mexicans (and the devil marijuana weed causing violence) sold newspapers, making him rich.
    Some samples from the San Francisco Examiner:
    “Marihuana makes fiends of boys in thirty days — Hashish goads users to bloodlust.”
    “By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….”
    And other nationwide columns…
    “Users of marijuana become STIMULATED as they inhale the drug and are LIKELY TO DO ANYTHING. Most crimes of violence in this section, especially in country districts are laid to users of that drug.”
    “Was it marijuana, the new Mexican drug, that nerved the murderous arm of Clara Phillips when she hammered out her victim’s life in Los Angeles?… THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRIMES of violence in this country today are committed by DOPE SLAVES — that is a matter of cold record.”
    Hearst and Anslinger were then supported by Dupont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies in the effort to outlaw cannabis. Dupont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, folks could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies.
    This all set the stage for…
    The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
    After two years of secret planning, Anslinger brought his plan to Congress — complete with a scrapbook full of sensational Hearst editorials, stories of ax murderers who had supposedly smoked marijuana, and racial slurs.
    It was a remarkably short set of hearings.
    The one fly in Anslinger’s ointment was the appearance by Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Council of the American Medical Association.
    Woodward started by slamming Harry Anslinger and the Bureau of Narcotics for distorting earlier AMA statements that had nothing to do with marijuana and making them appear to be AMA endorsement for Anslinger’s view.
    He also reproached the legislature and the Bureau for using the term marijuana in the legislation and not publicizing it as a bill about cannabis or hemp. At this point, marijuana (or marihuana) was a sensationalist word used to refer to Mexicans smoking a drug and had not been connected in most people’s minds to the existing cannabis/hemp plant. Thus, many who had legitimate reasons to oppose the bill weren’t even aware of it.
    Woodward went on to state that the AMA was opposed to the legislation and further questioned the approach of the hearings, coming close to outright accusation of misconduct by Anslinger and the committee:
    “That there is a certain amount of narcotic addiction of an objectionable character no one will deny. The newspapers have called attention to it so prominently that there must be some grounds for [their] statements [even Woodward was partially taken in by Hearst’s propaganda]. It has surprised me, however, that the facts on which these statements have been based have not been brought before this committee by competent primary evidence. We are referred to newspaper publications concerning the prevalence of marihuana addiction. We are told that the use of marihuana causes crime.
    But yet no one has been produced from the Bureau of Prisons to show the number of prisoners who have been found addicted to the marihuana habit. An informed inquiry shows that the Bureau of Prisons has no evidence on that point.
    You have been told that school children are great users of marihuana cigarettes. No one has been summoned from the Children’s Bureau to show the nature and extent of the habit, among children.
    Inquiry of the Children’s Bureau shows that they have had no occasion to investigate it and know nothing particularly of it.
    Inquiry of the Office of Education— and they certainly should know something of the prevalence of the habit among the school children of the country, if there is a prevalent habit— indicates that they have had no occasion to investigate and know nothing of it.
    Moreover, there is in the Treasury Department itself, the Public Health Service, with its Division of Mental Hygiene. The Division of Mental Hygiene was, in the first place, the Division of Narcotics. It was converted into the Division of Mental Hygiene, I think, about 1930. That particular Bureau has control at the present time of the narcotics farms that were created about 1929 or 1930 and came into operation a few years later. No one has been summoned from that Bureau to give evidence on that point.
    Informal inquiry by me indicates that they have had no record of any marihuana of Cannabis addicts who have ever been committed to those farms.
    The bureau of Public Health Service has also a division of pharmacology. If you desire evidence as to the pharmacology of Cannabis, that obviously is the place where you can get direct and primary evidence, rather than the indirect hearsay evidence.”
    Committee members then proceeded to attack Dr. Woodward, questioning his motives in opposing the legislation. Even the Chairman joined in:
    The Chairman: If you want to advise us on legislation, you ought to come here with some constructive proposals, rather than criticism, rather than trying to throw obstacles in the way of something that the Federal Government is trying to do. It has not only an unselfish motive in this, but they have a serious responsibility.
    Dr. Woodward: We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for 2 years without any intimation, even, to the profession, that it was being prepared.
    After some further bantering…
    The Chairman: I would like to read a quotation from a recent editorial in the Washington Times:
    The marihuana cigarette is one of the most insidious of all forms of dope, largely because of the failure of the public to understand its fatal qualities.
    The Nation is almost defenseless against it, having no Federal laws to cope with it and virtually no organized campaign for combating it.
    The result is tragic.
    School children are the prey of peddlers who infest school neighborhoods.
    High school boys and girls buy the destructive weed without knowledge of its capacity of harm, and conscienceless dealers sell it with impunity.
    This is a national problem, and it must have national attention.
    The fatal marihuana cigarette must be recognized as a deadly drug, and American children must be protected against it.
    That is a pretty severe indictment. They say it is a national question and that it requires effective legislation. Of course, in a general way, you have responded to all of these statements; but that indicates very clearly that it is an evil of such magnitude that it is recognized by the press of the country as such.
    And that was basically it. Yellow journalism won over medical science.
    The committee passed the legislation on. And on the floor of the house, the entire discussion was:
    Member from upstate New York: “Mr. Speaker, what is this bill about?”
    Speaker Rayburn: “I don’t know. It has something to do with a thing called marihuana. I think it’s a narcotic of some kind.”
    “Mr. Speaker, does the American Medical Association support this bill?”
    Member on the committee jumps up and says: “Their Doctor Wentworth[sic] came down here. They support this bill 100 percent.”
    And on the basis of that lie, on August 2, 1937, marijuana became illegal at the federal level.

  35. Please, marijuana has been scientifically proven to be basically harmless.
    The same can not be said of alcohol and tobacco.
    This should be a no-brainier, why are the politicians putting of the inevitable?

  36. Look man…..I live in AZ. I’m just waiting to see which state(colorado or California) legalizes fist. Then I’m either headed out west or gone up north.

  37. fox news is nonsense, and so are the GOP lies it spreads. republicans will never get the youth or minority vote because they are too far disconnected from reality. i question this woman alot as well, who that is for marijuana legalization in their right mind would vote for a republican, when in fact, it is their laughable prohibition efforts that got us this polarized on the subject. i mean lets face it, too many people make too much money keeping weed illegal, until that changes, nothing will…

  38. Awesome video, and i agree with #s 16 and 18 Yes she is a MILF and i’ll vote for whoever pusehes it first. well… probably whoever pushes it first. where is Ron Paul?

  39. These Cannabis laws that removed our liberty are based on a constructive fraud, this act is illegal, congress and the branches of government have become wayward. The only thing these folks will take notice is if juries don’t convict in cannabis cases. Simply Jury Nullification will put these wayward employees back in line. Until then plant your seeds in the face of the enemy and get ready to bring this issue to them by Writ. It is time to end their constructive fraud against the people and we don’t need to vote on it, just act through our courts and practice jury nullification of that screwed up unlaw cannabis law.

  40. I used to smoke it. It’s NOT a gateway drug. It’s no more addictive than cigarettes, and you can quit without the withdrawl and pains you get when you quit heroin or whatever. The whole case against weed is really based on fear! I dont know why since so many people already smoke the stuff anyway. They should also legalize prostitution and put our cops to better use than having run around trying to bust grown a$$ people having consentual sex.

  41. legalization should happen soon, today i was with a friend and we got stoped by police because somone broke into a house down the street and we were suspects. we havent did one crime but my friend threw a joint and the cop has seen him do it. the officer told me i’ll see my friend in jail. i started walking home stunned by what happend, i thught my friend was going too jail and all of this happend over nothing we were inocent. befor i walked to my door another cop drove by and told me dont worry about your friend we droped him of home.

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